Welcome to SB DBM. We're in agreement with much of what you've posted - I am optimistic that things will turn for the better but it is difficult right now.
The lamest line I've heard attributed to the distributors (from more than a couple of retailers) is they have high prices on items because Washington state hasn't proven enough demand of said products in high enough volumes - Hello Mr. Chicken & Egg...
Seriously, how dumb do the distributors / retailers think consumers are? With a smartphone in just about every pocket, prices are easy to compare and it's obvious we are being ripped off (even before taxes).
In any event, glad to have you here - there is also a "New to SB" forum where people can introduce themselves to the community at large.